Featured Blog

Zen Habits

By Leo Babauta

Turn on the Oven Light While Cooking (21/365)

Several months ago, I was curious about how much heat was lost when I opened up the oven to inspect a dish cooking in there. I put an oven thermometer in the oven, waited until the dish I was cooking was almost finished (a casserole cooking at 400 F), then opened the oven door for about ten seconds to inspect it. During those ten seconds, the thermometer dropped almost 20 degrees.

GRUNDTAL double curtain rod

Materials: Grundtal towel rails, stainless steel pipes Description: I cut the GRUNDTAL pipes in two halves (20 cm each) and made the necessary extension using 25 mm diameter stainless steel tubes. The GRUNDTAL pipes fit perfectly inside the steel tubes. ~ Ricardo Gonçalves, Porto,Portugal

GOSIG cat nest

Materials: 2 GOSIG baskets Description: I simply sew 2 GOSIG baskets together with blanket stitch using cotton thread #6. I thought it was small for two cats but they don't care! ~ Ricardo Gonçalves, Porto, Portugal

Fur Desk Chairs

Materials: Torbjorn Swivel Chair and 2 RENS Sheepskin Rugs Description: I "re-upholstered" 2 Torbjorn Swivel Chairs in faux-fur with 4 RENS Sheepskin Rugs total. I laid one small fur rug along the front of the chair and one on the back. I used about 25-30 safety pins to pin the fur to the mesh material on the chair and then to pin the two fur rugs to one another around the chair.

Review: Savvy Saving

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. Also available is a complete list of the hundreds of book reviews that have appeared on The Simple Dollar over the years. I find couponing blogs like Stockpiling Moms to be fascinating places.

"To Hear Complaints Is Wearisome Alike To The Wretched And The Happy."

“To hear complaints is wearisome alike to the wretched and the happy.” -- Samuel Johnson * A brilliant one-line post from Seth Godin's blog: "Once the water is deep enough that you must swim to stay afloat, does it really matter how deep the pool is?" Very thought-provoking. * My next book, Happier at Home, is inching its way toward completion.

5 Ways to Encourage Responsible, Productive Behavior in Your Kids

“Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.” – The Dalai Lama Responsibility is one of the most important skills your child can learn.

Numerar/Byske Standing Work-Bar

Materials: Numerar countertop in Beech, Vyka Byske legs, generic shelf supports, drill, screws, saw, etc. Description: With standing work stations becoming more and more popular, we took matters into our own hands to make ourselves a simple, attractive, and modern solution. And durable to boot! Click to read the rest of the post >>

Reader Story: A Frugal, Happy Life

This guest post from Clara is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity and with all sorts of incomes.

On Criticism, Cynicism & Sharpening Your Gut Instinct

Criticism is valuable. Cynicism is toxic. Can you trust your gut to tell the difference?

RATIONELL drawer mat Lampshade

Materials: Rationell Variera drawer mat, cable stoppers, clothes rope, metal ring Description: I made a 2 mm hole on each corner of the PP mat and joined two corners with a metal ring (the ones on the simple edged side of the mat). I attached each end of a 120 cm clothes rope to the remaining corners using cables stoppers to secure it (the ones used in bicycle brakes).

Tertial Chandelier

Materials: Tertial lamps, aluminum square tube, electric connectors, 1,5 mm wire Description: I started by reversing the lamp holder position of 6 Tertial lamps so that they could rotate down when the chandelier was in the ceiling. To do that I had to remove de lamp holders, turn them around and reconnect them. The plugs were cut off. Click to read the rest of the post >>

Don’t Use the Stove when the Microwave Will Do (20/365)

Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat. For the specific task microwaves excel at, they’re much more efficient than stove tops and ovens. The basic stats on energy use prove this to be the case. However, the savings are relatively small.

As-is goldmine, Part 2: doors are not just for cabinets

Materials: drill, screwdriver, level, patience Description: While hunting in the as-is room for materials for another project my boyfriend/handyman and I found these extra tall cabinet doors that we determined would be a great fit for the small utility closet we built at the top of our basement steps.

Girly Kura Bed Hack

Materials: KURA bed, scrapbook paper, Mod Podge, wood primer and high gloss black spray paint. Description: I love the look and functionality of the Kura bed but wanted to make it a little more girly to fit in with my daughter's Paris themed room. I purchased the Kura bed from Craigslist, primed the wood with spray primer, and spray painted it black with high gloss paint.